About Italian Wine

About Italian Wine
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines.

Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades.

As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy.

Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Varvaglione 2015 Papale Primitivo di Manduria DOP
95 points
$24.99
Black violet color. Aromas of blackberry pie, chocolate bicuit, and chai latte with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a polished, charming, medium-length date cake, toffee, and toast finish with moderate oak flavor. A rich and chocolatey primitivo with sultry dark fruit and kisses of sweetness.
95 points $24.99
Saracco 2018  Moscato dAsti DOP
95 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of honeycomb, summer peach, lilac, and lemon bar with a crisp, very sweet fat body and a medium-length finish revealing notes of candied pear, vanilla bean, creme caramel with roasted stone fruits, and mandarin orange segments in syrup. A sweet, vibrant Moscato with great depth of flavor; serve with gusto.
95 points $16.99 Best Buy
Tenuta Cucco 2012 Cerrati Vigna Cucco Barolo Riserva DOCG
95 points
$98
Dusty garnet color. Complex aromas and flavors of wet plaster, anise biscotti, brandied raisins and dried berries, and honeysuckle and apricot with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, layered, long finish with nuances of pomegranate and tomato relish, delicate floral herbs, earth, and cedar with crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A complex and vibrant, highly structured old-school Barolo that is built to last.
Saracco 2017  Moscato dAsti DOCG
95 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Silvery straw color. Aromas of acacia, turkish delight, honeysuckle, and peaches in cream with a round, vibrant, very sweet medium body and a smooth, involved, medium-long baby’s breath, mango lassi, pineapple confection, poured fondant, and candied pear finish. A very sweet, completely delicious Moscato that drapes that palate in opulence.
95 points $16.99 Best Buy
Ruggeri 2017 Giustino B. Superiore Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
95 points
$32.99
Silvery emerald straw color. Fresh aromas of finger lime, exotic flowers, candied pear, and bamboo with a fruity fat body and a layered, long turkish delight, wet stone, orange sherbet, and lily finish. A stylish Prosecco with intriguing minerality, memorable length, and kisses of sweetness.
95 points $32.99
Tenuta Rocca 2013 Bussia Barolo DOC
95 points
$80
Light garnet color. Aromas of red licorice and peony with a tannic, lively, dry medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long black licorice, allspice, dried raspberry, rosemary, and tobacco finish with cottony tannins. A fruity and well-structured Barolo with tannins built for the long haul; this is one to cellar until the finest occasion.
Alea Ludendo 2013  Elba Aleatico Passito
95 points
$147
Deep purple color. Fruity, floral aromas of sugared plums, pressed violet, honeycomb, sweet cigars, and dark chocolate with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, long ginger, saffron, dried figs, mint creme, and molasses cookies finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. A delightful and nuanced Dessert Wine to finish an excellent meal; just lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Dessert Wine
Cantina Zaccagnini 2014 San Clemente Montepulciano dAbruzzo DOC
94 points
$49.99
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe plum, dried figs, almond tart, dark chocolate, and sage with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a graceful, complex, long finish with elements of orange liqueur and chocolate ganache with moderate oak flavor. A rich, ready-to-drink Montepulciano with great concentration of fruit and well-developed flavors.
94 points $49.99
Villadoria 2015 Serralunga dAlba Nebbiolo
94 points
$49.99
Brown brick red color. Aromas of candied beets, licorice, fresh basil, sun dried tomato, proscuitto, and dried herbs and cracked pepper with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, very complex, very long dried rose, rose hip jam, pomegranate, and leather finish with grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An excellent Barolo with superb tannin integration and concentrated flavor; get lost in this wine.
94 points $49.99
Villadoria 2015 Lazzarito Nebbiolo
94 points
$75.99
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of cherry tart, strawberry-rhubab, roasted parsnip, dried rose, hints of chocolate, and freesia with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, very long terra cotta, toasted spice cake, rosemary, and orris root finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. Great concentration, elegant flavors, and a triumphant finish; drink this.
94 points $75.99